|Is green tea a pain reliever for chronic pain? Yes, it can be, mainly because it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties which reduce inflammation. Inflammation is closely related to pain, so drinking green tea may help you feel better.
Are you in pain today? I am. Looking for some relief? I’m trying a new option. Green tea! How is Green Tea Good for you? Read on to find out.
So today was a painful day. I know those of you who are in pain have some days that are better than others. Me too. For some reason, and I’m not sure why, today was not a good day. I’m doing my stretches and taking some OTC pain medication (which I hate to do, but you know there are just some days that you can’t take it), but the pain is persisting.
So as I have been doing throughout my pain journey, I turned to the web to research some more options for relief.
Thankfully I found some promising information about green tea.
What Did I Find?
Apparently green tea has a high amount of polyphenols. What, you ask are those? According to Wikipedia, polyphenols are a structural class of mainly natural, but also synthetic or semi synthetic, organic chemicals characterized by the presence of large multiples of phenol structural units. Oh, that’s helpful isn’t it?
What is a phenol? In layman’s terms, it is another compound in a group called hydroxyls. These compounds act as antioxidants. Antioxidants act as defenders of our body, cleaning up free radicals, which contribute to aging and cell damage.
Phenols are also referred to, in this case, as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. These compounds are what are being studied in relation to pain relief.
By defending our body with these antioxidants, they reduce inflammation. Inflammation in our joints can contribute to pain. This is especially true if you have an autoimmune disease like arthritis. I have been told I have arthritis and arthritis like symptoms. My dad had it so bad that he had to retire early. It deformed his hands and feet too. He had daily pain.
So, in essence the antioxidant properties of green tea fight the bad guys that cause inflammation. Want to know a bit more about inflammation? Go to this WebMD site. (Sorry about all the ads; not something I can control.)
How Much Should You Drink?
I have seen a recommended two cups daily. But another site said three to five cups. As with any food consumed in excess there can be dangerous side effects. If you have food sensitivities or allergies, it would be best to consult a medical professional before you start drinking green tea. Also, you should consult a professional to diagnose your pain for causes and possible solutions. (Although with much chronic pain, there don’t seem to be lasting solutions.)
Green tea contains caffeine, but a lower amount compared to coffee. There are only 25 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup. If caffeine keeps you awake, then be sure to not drink it in the evening.
I’m switching to green tea now. I am a coffee lover, but I like too much creamer and sugar in it; both of which are terrible for my inflammation and pain. In my journey to consume less sugar, this is a perfect time to switch. I had slowly reduced my sugar intake and so this seems like a good time to change drinks.
There is research that states that milk and soy reduce the availability of the helpful antioxidants, so you should not drink your tea with those if you are hoping for health benefits.
Other Forms of Green Tea
Supplements – Made from green tea extracts, these usually contain a greater amount of the ECGCs that are so beneficial. But because there is such a high level, there are instances where the high level can cause liver toxicity. If you go for a supplement, be sure to read the ingredients.
Matcha – Made from the green tea leaves, that have been ground up into a fine powder. These are added to a hot liquid. Matcha also contains more ECGCs just like the supplements, so be careful of liver toxicity.
Bottled Green Tea – Made just as brewed green tea is. Contains similar ECGCs as brewed. This is a more expensive way to consume your tea. And many products have sugar added.
This is a very informative video about the quality of green teas.
Who May Benefit From Green Tea?
Obviously, I am recommending green tea for people in chronic pain, especially if you know there is inflammation involved. But in my research I found other conditions that may benefit from green tea.
- Lowers risk of some cancers
- Increases brain function
- Assists in weight loss
- May help prevent type 2 diabetes
- Slows the aging process
- Reduces chance of heart disease
I found this information on a site published by Healthline. Click here to read it. They back up all the claims with research.
Don’t Expect Miracles
If you’re like me, you want results now. But with natural products I think it takes time. I read that other factors will influence how much green tea will help you to feel better. Think about other changes you should make for your health. (I still struggle with some of them myself.)
- Cut down on sugar consumption
- Cut down on fat consumption
- Increase movement
- Get a decent night’s sleep
All of these above factors can influence your pain. I have written articles on all those topics. Here’s one on sleep. Go to the search bar on my page to find others.
From my research I also found some precautions. They are:
- Supplements of green tea can cause liver toxicity because of the high dose of EGCG.
- If you are taking Vitamin K
- If you are also on a blood thinner.
- There appears to be an increase in gastric cancer associated with green tea, but that may be due to thermal effects.
- If you drink it all day, it may lead to brittle bones and teeth because of the fluoride in most green teas.
Use this link to buy green tea from Thrive Market. I receive a referral fee if you purchase from them through this link.
What do you think? Are you a green tea drinker? Please let me know what benefits you get from drinking green tea.
Do you have questions about other foods or drinks that may benefit pain sufferers? Please leave them here. I will consider researching other products.